My mom.

Posted: November 25, 2009 in Uncategorized

Ellen Joy is my mom.

She is lovely. When I was in 4th grade, my mom came to my class room to help with a party and the other girls at my table said, “Ooooh…your mom is so pretty!” and I just shrugged my shoulders and said, “I know.”

She is kind…and she tried with all her heart to teach me to be kind as well. When I would pour my heart out to her about a frustrating friend, she would say, “Bo, you need to be sweet. It always pays.” Another great thing she taught us was “things will look better in the morning. Sleep on it.” Such good advice that I still use and have many times passed along to my own kids.

She sees and believes the best about us. Such a small statement with giant implications in my life. If you know me and my sisters now, that maybe doesn’t seem like such a big deal. We’re pretty nice gals. But she saw the best through awkward phases and rebellious seasons and plenty of failure. She believes the best when we fall, or faint or stagnate. And when we run the race well, she acts like that’s what we’ve been doing all along. She’s a marvel that way and I count on it in my life.

She knows Jesus. Deeply. While my dad and I are “talkers” by nature and even by vocation, my mom is not a talker, but she is a student of the Word and of truth. I’m amazed by people who love truth just for truth’s sake…just to store it up and let it work in them. My seeking is tinged with a “looking for something to teach” vibe, but her seeking is pure and right and I want to be more like that. But also: I think my mom has a lot to say and I praying that many more will have a chance to hear it.

She understands the value of time. That sounds funny, perhaps, but it’s been huge for me. My mom is the most generous time-giver I have ever known. My growing-up years are defined by hours and hours spent, talking on the couch about the things that no one else in the whole world would have wanted to hear about. In my relatively brief stint at parenting, I’ve discovered that time is the most valuable thing I can offer my kids and – not coincidentally – is also the most difficult to give. I love my mom for making me feel that time with me was valuable – she taught me so much about the love of Jesus through that.

She is wise. When I was young, I would pray “please just let me be wise like my mom.” And even then I meant it…and even now, I mean it. Happy birthday to my mom, Ellen Joy. You are a treasure to me and I’m so thankful to have you here on your special day.

I love you more than words can say,

Bonita Rae

  1. Shandra says:

    What a wonderful tribute.
    Several years ago I walked into the Revolutionary Parenting Conference ~”hmmm~where shall I sit?” said I. Over to one side was a woman sitting alone and smiling sweetly. We introduced ourselves and it turned out to be your mommy; every bit as you described. Amazing woman. Thanks for sharing her!
    Happy Birthday Bo’s Mommy.

  2. Bo…My mom’s birthday is the 27th! she’s amazing too!
    Happy Thanksgiving,

  3. Wonderful words about your mom! Inspiring. All of it was a great reminder to me as I’m just starting out on the whole Mom Thing.

    PS i didn’t know your middle name is Rae! That’s my daughter Tessa’s middle name! I’ll take that as a very good thing for her! =)

  4. Ann Dunagan says:

    Yes, Bo.

    Your mom is amazing. And wise. And kind. And solid. And sweet. And gracious.

    I’m not around her very often, but when I am, I’m always so blessed and inspired.

    What a legacy you have.

    Love you both!

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